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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

ment you were waiting for the train at K, then you would not have heard it.'

"'No, but I should have seen it.'

"We have already arrived at the fact that you did not hear it. That is a considerable advance! God bless you, M. Longuet! God bless you!' (M. Longuet was sneezing.)

"M. Longuet thanked me for my pious wish, and since he continued to sneeze, I took out my watch from his pocket (he had already stolen it from me), and I said to him: 'Do you know, M. Longuet, how long a single one of your sneezes lasts, that is to say, how long you remain with your head bent while you sneeze?… Three seconds!… That is to say a second and two-fifths longer than is required to fail to see an express with four carriages pass in front of you, which is going sixty miles an hour. M. Longuet, the express has disappeared, or rather seemed to disappear, because you were deaf and had a cold!'

"M. Longuet threw up his arms wildly towards the ceiling of the Catacombs.